Residents of Ahinsa Khand 2, Indirapuram rejoiced as the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) conducted its first anti-polythene cum encroachment drive in the area.
The people went with officials to different shops in search of polythene bags. They also carried copies of orders along with them while visiting the shops.
The GDA slapped penalties on a sweet shop located in GC Centrum market and couple of street vendors. The sweet shop was fined Rs 10,000 for keeping its items in the common area of the complex whereas both the food and vegetable vendors were fined Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,500 respectively for possession and use of polythene bags.
Recently, the GDA had issued an order stating that shops displaying its items in the common area of the commercial complexes would be slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000. The order also mentioned that a fine of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 would be imposed for use and sale of polythene bags.
These orders were part of a list of 11 directives passed by the GDA to check various issues like illegal parking, encroachment, polythene use among others. The GDA had also drawn a red border line in front of shops to limit their area and stop them from extending their operations outside.
“This morning, I saw edibles packed in a polythene bag on the road. A cow ate it along with the polythene bag. I immediately made up my mind to join the anti-polythene drive with officials. These carry bags are not only eaten up by cows but also end up in landfill sites which cause pollution,” said Jayati Jain, member of Green Team and a resident of Cloud 9 society.
Local residents said that they have been trying to dissuade local shopkeepers from using polythene but all of their attempts went in vain as there was no regulation in place.
“The municipal committee had regulations for nearby Vaishali, Kaushambi and other areas but Indirapuram was left out as it was maintained by GDA. We also tried distributing homemade paper bags but things did not work. Now that we have the regulations, we show shopkeepers that it is wrong,” Jain further said.
“This is the first of our drives and three persons have been penalised. We have collected a total fine of Rs 12,500. A sweet shop owner was fined with an amount of 10,000 rupees for encroaching common area space while two vendors were fined 1000 and 1500 rupees for keeping and using polythene carry bags,” said Dhananjay Singh, a GDA official.
Residents along with members of the Federation of Apartment Owners Association had also conducted an anti polythene awareness drive in the area.